ALEA urges drivers to be safe this holiday season

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - According to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, a majority of holiday travelers begin hitting the road Friday morning.

ALEA is determined to have as few fatalities as possible on Alabama roadways.

Spokesman Trooper Curtis Summerville hopes "no matter how far away you roam" this holiday season, you'll do so safely with yourself and others in mind.

“Typically when a person is driving or traveling you’re by yourself, but this time of year there are families involved.  Their lives are in the palms of your hands," says Summerville.

He says, even though traffic may have been terrific in the '50s, referencing the holiday classic "No Place Like Home For the Holidays." but that's not true anymore, especially if you're taking I-65.

“If you gotta be somewhere at a particular time, give yourself a little bit of time. If it typically takes you an hour to get there, give yourself an hour and 30 minutes," says Trooper Summerville.

Taking your time, and paying extra attention, could make all the difference.

For example, this Thanksgiving Day, seven people died in car crashes across the State of Alabama.

“Not a single one was wearing a seat belt," he says.

Summerville urges everyone to buckle up, especially for parents with watchful little ones in the backseat.

“Be an example for your children because often they look at what you do. So if you're not wearing your seatbelt, they may not want to wear their seat belt," says Summerville.

To make sure seven more lives aren't lost this holiday season, ALEA is staffing as many as possible on busy thoroughfares.

“I think most people think, well I don’t want to get a ticket. And we’re glad you think that way when you see us so if we’re out there and you see us and that makes you drive a little bit better - because our goal is to change behavior," he says.

Summerville hopes "if you want to be happy in a million ways," as the song goes, make a concerted effort this holiday season to be safe behind the wheel.

“If I typically speed, I’m not going to speed today. If I don’t wear my seatbelt, I’m going to wear my seatbelt today," reminded Summerville.

He says, there will also be several drivers' license checkpoints across the state over the next two weeks.

If you plan on drinking, have a plan in place for a sober ride or a place to stay before you take your first sip.

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